October 18, 2011

Winning the Holidays

My children found a katydid
This year, I am determined to be on top.

Allow me to rephrase.

I am determined to be on top of something.  Anything at all.  Right now, my whole life is a mess of desperately trying to catch up.  It's a disaster.

So of course, rather than actually put the work into my current projects (like, say, SCHOOL), I am instead determined to be on top of my holidays this year.

To be fair, I pretty much nailed them last year.  We had lovely cards (all hand made by yours truly), we had PERFECT gifts for everyone, and we threw a hell of a holiday party.  Despite toddlers in footy pajamas who refused to go to bed.

Our 2009-2010 Cards
This year, the holidays are mine.  Why?  Because this year, for the first time in my married life, I am making enough money that the holiday spending is all on me.

That is to say, I'm making EXACTLY that much money.  No more, no less.

The money I'm earning by writing at IdeasforWomen.com is officially our holiday reserve fund.

The stakes are high.  The reserve is not so high.  So how am I going to do it?

First of all, I'm going to send out my holiday cards early.  Yeah, I know, that was my plan last year.  But this year I am ON IT!  And I'm going easy on the goods.  Haven't figured out the design yet, but it should be simple.  Simple, but fun.

From our 2008-2009 Holiday Cards
I don't *do* photo cards.  I do art cards.  Last year, I made cards with wintery scenes made of foam and glitter and ink, and individually stamped each darn letter in each of our names.  Oh, AND stamped out all of the addresses.

Because that's how I roll.  I just wish I'd remembered to take a picture.

The year before, I painted a portrait of my daughters, and used the print of that painting as the card front.

The year before that, I created a scene with my newborn babes as Baby New Year.  Didn't turn out perfectly, but it was serviceable.

And the year before that it was an elaborate collage of images of me and M from the entire year.  It was hilarious and awesome.  I even got M in his Thor costume.

Our 2007-2008 Holiday Cards
 Holiday cards are a little complicated when one side of the family is Jewish and the other is Christian.  You can't aim to deliver the cards during either actual holiday- it implies a preference.  Usually I am for New Year's.  This time, I'm aiming for just after Thanksgiving.  That's a fine time for an annual wrap-up, right?

But cards are only one element of the holiday that I'm determined to rock.  The next is the presents.  This is where my new income comes in.  We have a lot of presents to buy.  After all, we celebrate two simultaneous gift giving holidays.  And the way MY family rolls, Channukah means eight days of presents.  You don't skip on celebrating Channukah just because Christmas also falls on that day.  This year, we'll be going to Grandma and Grandpa's church, and then going to my in-laws to light the menorah.

I'm getting all the gifts.  M is totally off the hook.  Lucky him.  :)

So how do I stretch my measly earnings to accomodate the sort of gift giving frenzy I always wished for?  Simple!  It's time to start entering contests like mad.  My grandfather would be proud- he was a contest maniac.

Tickle fight!
Take this one, for example.  Lots of awesome ladies with lots of awesome shops promoting before the holidays.  I'm all about it.  If I can win, great!  Another couple of presents I don't have to pay for!  If I don't, I'm only out a few minutes of my time.

And then, the last hurdle.  The final holiday task that I am determined to crush.


Last year, I only made about two thirds of my planned cookies.  This year, I will start early.  I will freeze cookies.  I will rock cookies.

I just haven't decided which ones just yet.

So there you have it.  Me, determined to be on top of my holiday game.

Granda MADE these sweaters!  So cute!
Too soon to tell whether there's any hope.  But I will tell you this- I've already got my lists.  I'm checking them twice.  And I've got half a dozen pages bookmarked on my browser so that as soon as any item goes on sale, you can bet it's getting shipped post haste to my house to hide out for another two months.

And then...

I will win the holidays.


  1. LOVE your holiday card! What a fabulous idea! And good luck w/ getting on top of everything. Thanks for linking to my contest...and I totally count it, haha!

  2. That's awesome!

    I'm actually considering Black Friday shopping this year. I think I've lost my mind.

  3. Coming from a mixed-religious family, and being a different religion than Hubby, I hear you on the cards. I do photo cards because I am totally not artistically talented, but I try to get them out early so they're there for both holidays. I loved the cards you made in the past years.



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